The perfect place to write doesn’t exist

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.

American humorist, novelist, short story writer, and radio host, Garrison Keillor, was born on this day in 1942.

The perfect writing environment doesn’t exist.

I love my new office, but it’s not the perfect place to write.

For one thing, I can be distracted by the television, the computer, the art supplies (now conveniently located on their own desk), the books, and not to mention all the fabulous memorabilia adorning the walls.

So maybe it’s not a perfect place to write. Maybe it’s not what I thought I really wanted. Or maybe it is.

Either way, it’s still pretty cool to have that place to think, to write, and survive the coming storms…and I don’t mean the remainder of Hurricane Season.

Still, as a writer, I have to be able to adapt, and I have to be able to write anywhere.

I am, actually, able to do that.

As you may recall, for a while this spring I was doing the early morning gym thing, then going to a coffee shop to write. The enthusiasm for that died down at about the point that I didn’t have to be up that early to take my son to the bus stop anyway.

Still, I love the whole concept of coffee shop writing.

I could also write in a bar, but until the scales start behaving, I’m avoiding those. That’s another story.

But, I love the stories of how Hemingway spent his time in a Paris cafe, or how Tolkien and Lewis discussed their works over pints.

I’d be open to starting/joining a group like that if anyone is interested. That’s also another story.

Sometimes though, a coffee shop is not so conducive to writing.

Take for example this past Saturday (truth in advertising, that’s when this is actually being written).

Our son, the not-yet-driving one, is returning to work at the amusement park. His job in a different division was eliminated after last season and he didn’t return to the park when this season opened.

Finally, Dad put his foot down, and if you know my shoe size you’ll understand the impact, and said that he had to go to work somewhere where we could drive him on the weekends.

All that to say that Saturday afternoon was his first orientation session. He didn’t think it would last so long, so I said I’d wait for him at the local-ish Starbucks.

On my way there I received the text telling me that the training was to last four hours.

Four. Hours.

Even I can’t drink coffee for four hours.

Okay, yes I can, but I’d like to sleep again before Thursday.

Plus, being Saturday afternoon and all, and being just a short ways off of I-95, this particular Starbucks was more than quite busy.

I mean, I had to wait in line for the men’s room. That usually only happens at sporting events.

Sure, I gave some thought to people watching, but most were feeling their kids sugar, or arguing with their kids that they couldn’t have sugar with their caffeine. And the line waiting for drinks was quite long.

Then there was this one lady who needs to be aware of personal space. I had my iPad, but if I had been typing on a manual typewriter, she and her leggings-which-are-not-pants would have known when I hit return.

I digress.

I took it for about forty-five minutes, and I got some planning done.

Then I made what may have been my wisest decision for the day. I found a local library.

And it’s from there that I’m writing this. Quite (mostly). Cool. Quaint. And. I’ve got this whole end of the building to myself.

All that to get back to my original point of being able to adapt to write anywhere.

With my upcoming busy schedule that I’ve promised not to always talk about, I know that I need to able to adapt and use downtime when I have it.

Today, I’m using, and praising the public library system. I don’t need an overpriced beverage to be able to sit here and write. Although this particularly library welcomes cups with lids…so I could have hit the drive thru and…but, we’ve already been there.

Maybe the library wasn’t what I thought I wanted this afternoon.

Maybe I’m not binge watching the rest of Star Trek (although I have headphones and could be).

Maybe I’m not typing out the great American novel or the next Tony Award winning play.

Or, maybe I am.

What I know is that I’m here. I’m not wasting time. I’m writing.

Because, that’s what I do.


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Boldly Going into Monday

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.

American actress, television producer, and businesswoman, Lucille Ball, was born on this day in 1911 (died 1989).

We all loved Lucy.

True story. I forget which Hollywood icon passed away when I commented in jest that when Lucy died, I’d have to take the day off. As it turned out, she died on April 26, 1989, our oldest son’s birthday. I indeed took the day off.

While reorganizing my office this past week, I’ve been binge watching the original Star Trek.

Outside of realizing how really, really, bad the story lines, the acting, and the special effects were, there’s also the realization that this show was revolutionary in its time.

There’s also the reality that we have Star Trek because of Lucille Ball.

Initially rejected by Desilu Studios and CBS, NBC rejected the first pilot for The Cage. Lucy overruled her board and agreed to help finance the second pilot on NBC. That’s where we met Jim Kirk. Former studio executive Ed Holly said “If it were not for Lucy, there would be no Star Trek today.”

It’s quite possible that I’d be less of a geek if Star Trek had never made it to television.

Possible.

And, while I’m not sure my boys want to hear this.

Star Trek > Star Wars.

Except for the first Star Trek movie. In that case:

Jar Jar binks > Star Trek: The Movie.

And there was never, ever, a reason for Jar Jar.

What was I writing about?

Oh yeah, Lucy.

And her comment that “The more things you do, the more you can do.”

She certainly lived that, didn’t she? What a career. Not without it’s hardships and trials, but she was an amazing woman.

Maybe it’s the sense of urgency that causes busy people to get more done. Maybe those deadlines get the adrenaline pumping.

I know that, as a writer and designer, I get more done when I’m on deadline.

I also know that I said I wasn’t going to talk about how much I have to do.

So, I’m not. I’m talking about Lucy, and how much she got done.

Your list is different than mine. Both our lists are different than Lucy’s.

But the drive to keep going is the same. Lucy showed us how it’s done.

I’m not dying my hair red.

Well, unless you’re casting a large, older, male with red hair…let’s talk.

But, I appreciate what we can learn from Lucy.

And, from Star Trek.

It’s Monday, and time to boldy go on with the week.

Watch out for Klingons.


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